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Adana, so far so good

Adana, so far so good

I’ve been here for 6 days now. Luckily I have not experienced too much jet lag thanks to sleeping most of the flight time to get here and a full 9 hours after arriving. I seriously slept 20 out of 25 hours; not sure how I managed it, but I did. Me, the non-sleeper. I am back to my well too known insomnia now, but no jet lag, so…..

Wendi arrived safe and sound and with taking her shopping for all the apartment basics, I have managed to go shopping 5 times in 6 days. Also a probable record since I generally hate shopping.

I work for a fantastic company! I can’t believe how well-treated we all are by them. It is wonderful to feel appreciated as a teacher and a new comer. Thank you Nacel!!

My apartment is really cute.


I think I’m going to change the color scheme in the bedroom, but since it was all here when I arrived, it’s good enough for now!!

I need a desk and some shelving too, but all in good time.

When I arrived I found a little care package from the school!!


Along with water, tea, coffee, juice, bread, and all kinds of goodies in the fridge. Amazeballs.

I’m on the 6th floor, so here’s some of my view.


The school English Department Head Teacher brought us to her place and fed us homemade wonderful traditional Turkish food, then let us play at her apartment’s pool.


I finally found soy milk here, but before I did, I was SO excited to find a Starbucks and get to have my Grande Soy Hazelnut Latte. I think I might start taking photos of me and Starbucks everywhere I go! Thank you for consistency Starbucks. Sincerely.


A Burger King ice cream only kiosk in the middle of the mall……. Ok Turkey, sure, why not.


This is some kind of “meat” made with bulgur. Apparently this little spicy meat wrapped in lettuce used to be made with raw meat. I’m grateful it is not anymore, but it was tasty as is.


Yes, I did a little happy dance right there in the store. Transformers individual packages of honey, with Bumblebee as the front man. I was smiling like a 2 year old with new light up shoes.


Statue in front of the local hospital.


Last night we went out for traditional Adana Kebap’s. Ummmmm freaking delicious. They made a great effort to decide which things I could and couldn’t eat, awesome. Great night now that all the teachers are here and we all went out together. Thanks again to Nacel and Final for making this first week the best first week of any teaching job so far!!

Food is served family style here as well, so yippeeeee!! Let’s dig in!


I didn’t get to eat the pasta, but it seemed to be quite good.


The traditional Adana Kebap. So, fun fact, Kebap’s or Kebab’s as we know them in the States, were first made here in Adana.


And, Ayran, a thinned out yogurt with added salt to make it a salty, foamy, not even slightly phallic in presentation, popular drink in all of Turkey.


After we’d eaten enough food for a football team, the manager (whose son attends our school) brought this down telling us it was more meat dishes especially chosen by his son for us.


Turned out it was a very (I’ll take their word for it) yummy sweet desert of wheat, ice cream, pistachios, and honey.


They brought me three slices of sweet spiced pickled pumpkin that tasted like eating pumpkin pie! Yum.


I’m off for my first day at school!!! And in just a few hours, all three of my children will be starting their first days of college! It’s a school day all around for Team McKahsum!!

 

How will I teach the people of Turkey about turkey come Thanksgiving???

Here I am in another airport, waiting for another long flight to yet another country. My life is turning into everything I’ve always wanted it to be.

This is so exciting!! A new airline, a new set of things to learn about people, new irritations and new things to adore about a new culture. The guy sitting next to me has been repeating what sounds like the same five syllables for the last 10 min. It is both irritating and interesting. I am completely caught in the middle. Nothing he’s done has me decided in either direction. He’s not being loud, but it is repetitive. That makes it kind of meditative, sort of.

There’s a lot more women with their heads covered than not…. But they don’t seem to be giving me any evil eye. I am whole heartedly looking forward to staring down my preconceived ideas and figuring out my own truths. I will share them with you all of course.

I arrived about 4 hours early at the airport since I had nothing else to do between check-out at the hotel and my flight. I’m now an hour and a half into my four hour wait. I am bored and so far more attentive to others than I should be.

I have also eaten a ridiculous amount of junk food since arriving here at the airport with about another thousand calories of junk food still in my purse. The only place to get food from the hotel was a gas station next door. Therefore my second breakfast, lunch, and supper are all gas station junk food items.

My workout regimen will need to resume immediately once I am settled into my new apartment. Hopefully the dinner aboard Turkish Airlines is tasty, filling but not fattening, and won’t kill me.

I guess Turkish Airlines has only been running flights from Houston for a year. I wonder where I would have had to fly out of if I had gone last year. It is interesting to listen to other people’s conversations. One guy is talking to anyone who will listen about everything and none of it sounds credible.

One of the craziest things I noticed when I came back to the states was how weird it was to understand everyone’s conversations around me. I was (am) so used to not understanding anything anyone around me says because it’s in a different language, that is somehow comforting to recognize that I only understand about 1/3 of what is being said around me right now.

There’s a big thunderstorm brewing outside, but there is still an hour and a half of wait time for it to possibly build up, pour out, and move on before my flight…. Fingers crossed. I’m in row G, aisle seat …. 7th row with easy access to my stuff…. Maybe I’ll have an easy time with my transfers?

So far the most irritating thing about traveling alone is that you can’t just leave your luggage and go to the bathroom. You have to load up and lug everything with you. That’s not to say it’s the worst thing, just the most irritating.

Ok, fun new detail, the flight has now been delayed again….. this will be almost 2 hours late, no hope of catching my transfers. This should be fun.

Update

I am safely in Adana with not too much hassle, my luggage was brought to my school today, and all is good. Minus the initial delay that was the initial cause, I have to say that Turkish Airlines was fantastic with how they handled everything and by far my favorite flight to date.

 
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Posted by on 13/08/2014 in Uncategorized

 

What?!?! How did I get this lucky?

What?!?!  How did I get this lucky?

I just sent Sven back to Germany, some could say it is a sad moment, but amazingly it is not. I am not sad, though I miss him already. How can I be sad when I am this lucky??!!

Two and a half years ago, I was graduating with my teaching degree, preparing to go to The Czech Republic, and ready to begin teaching abroad. I had just ended a relationship with no plans to have a new one. I was heading out on my own, happily.

During my time in CZ and in Taiwan, I was not without male suitors, don’t get me wrong. But I had no need to make any of them permanent, in fact no real desire to. I’m not the one night stand gal, but you know, being with someone more than once doesn’t mean I needed a relationship. In fact I was quite happy without one.

And then somehow, this guy changed everything. All my flying solo, make my own plans, don’t worry about where I’m going next, do my own thing outlook got turned upside down. Completely out of the blue, with someone I never expected it to happen with.

AND I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!!!!!!!!

How did I get this lucky?

I’m still a little turned around at it. But here it is

I’m engaged – I’m going to marry this amazing German man.


We have so much in common and still so many things to share with each other.

Sharing two weeks in Jamaica was beyond amazing!! We laughed, played, swam, kayaked, hiked, drank, went sight-seeing, and learned about how we work together through new situations, having nothing to do, and having too much going on.

We make a pretty damn good team. Now for some Jamaica photos!


I’m pretty much in love right now and am so excited for our families to get to know each other. I am blessed. Hope you all feel that you are too!!!!!!

 

1st Day in Paradise

Jamaica is beautiful.  Today is the first day.  BRING IT

 
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Posted by on 27/07/2014 in Uncategorized

 

Last day

Tomorrow is my last full day in New Mexico. What an exciting and wonderful trip back to this magical place. I have missed the skies here and the smell of fresh rain hitting the desert. I have missed chile and the fantastic New Mexican food. I have missed The Sandias and The Rio Grande. I have missed the wineries and lavender fields.

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I have missed my children. I have missed them terribly. It hardly seems enough time with them.

We are growing separately but not apart. It’s pretty exciting to come back and see the growth and witness the changes that are harder to see when I’m with them on a day to day basis. I look forward to what the next leap forward will bring.

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I have missed my many friends and have been blessed to see so many of them. I wish I had been able to see more.

I am incredibly excited to start this next adventure. I am excited to teach and live in Turkey with my wonderful friend Wendi and especially excited that both of us are also starting new and wonderful relationships. I couldn’t possibly be much happier.

My children are capable, happy, hard-working adults living good lives. My mama is doing well. I wish I had been able to get up to see my dad, but it is a definite must for the next trip to the states. My friends are doing well. My next job looks exciting and there are so many places to go and see!

I am so happy with the life I am creating. It is hardly ever easy, but it is worth every moment.

Live your dreams, no regrets.

 
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Posted by on 20/07/2014 in Uncategorized

 

To my future friends

SO I’ve been finding myself blocked again as to what to write about. I want to keep doing the Taiwan posts  -but because I think I’m supposed to, and that very fact is stopping me.

I’m finding myself yet again, caught up in the idea that have to write this thing or that thing in order for it to be ok to put up.

Here I am in the fear zone again….. dah dah dahhhhh

Then this morning, as I was laying out in the sun, enjoying the beautiful weather, and reading yet another wonderful book my mama recommended, I happened to notice a thought.

This blog is called “My life in words“. It’s the story of my life. It’s not just the story of my travels, or the story of my family, or the story of the wonderful food I find as I roam around. It’s the whole of my life put into words on a page online. And my life has SOOOOO many different aspects to it.

It doesn’t have to conform to any one thing, just as I don’t.

As I pondered this and let it roll around a while, I let myself listen to music, continue to read, feel the little ants crawling on my feet, notice the breeze sending my hair all over, and talked to a fly or two.

I came up with the idea of what I want to write today: a letter to my future friends.

 

Dear Future Friends,

I am so excited with anticipation to meet you! Whoever you are, I willingly offer anything I have to help you find your joy. I don’t hold back, I will be your friend completely and without reservation from the first smile. I will instantly love you and trust you. The longer we are friends the more deeply I will feel that way.

Please tell me your stories. I want to hear about who you are. I have many stories, good and bad. I am the compilation of my success through those stories. I know our stories are not what define us; rather the way we choose to respond and grow is what shapes who we are. You are who you are today, not who you were yesterday, as am I. I will only see who you are at the time I meet you. I will have no preconceived ideas about you. Feel free to present yourself as you are, I surely will.

Please tell me your hopes. I want to hear about the things that make you happy and keep you striving. I know that the more we talk about the things we want to do, see, and try, the easier it is to obtain them. I already want you to make your hopes into realities. Trust that I will do anything I can to help you achieve them.

Please share experiences with me. I want to make memories with you. Reminiscing experiences is one of my favorite things to do; second only to experiencing. Silly, serious, ridiculous, poignant, small, large, usual, new, or trippy, it doesn’t matter. Let’s experience life together.

Please teach me. Teach me language. Teach me craft. Teach me a game. Teach me a new way to see things. I don’t care, but teach me, I love to learn.

Please help me grow. We all need help. I will help you too.

I am quirky, silly, grounded, caring, daring, a combination of quiet and energetic, goal-oriented, and sometimes funny, sometimes serious. I like to laugh. Let’s laugh together.

 

Yours truly,

Mari

 

 

Maybe, maybe not

So, as I sit and work on my Good-bye Taiwan posts, going through hundreds of pictures, resizing, sorting, deciding, etc…. I’ve had this one thought keep running through my head.

I know that it is non-productive to let a thought sit and fester, so I figure, I’ll just write about it, get it out of my head, and then it will quit pestering me.

 

I say pestering rather than bothering because, I don’t know that it bothers me so much. It’s just a point of view, and I can fully respect it. It doesn’t hurt me or make me feel bad. Rather it just has me thinking and it keeps coming back, and I’m not being very productive as I ponder it.

So, here it is.

I was told recently, in a nice way, that I am a complicated woman. Maybe, maybe not.

When I was first told that, I agreed. But the more I think about it, the less I think it’s true. I could be wrong. The fact that I keep thinking about it may actually point to the fact that I am.

Here is where my thinking has been taking me; the reason I say, “No, I’m actually quite uncomplicated”.

Now, I, like each of us, am unique. I have my own set of circumstances, filters, patterns, history, etc. My particular rumbled past could very well be seen as complicated. With that I would agree.

But I, the person, am really quite simple. I don’t really understand the rules of all the social games people play. I don’t play them. I see them played out but I never quite have understood why. It doesn’t make any sense to me to act as if you are not interested in someone in order to get them to like you, or to judge another person based on your own past instead of their present.

I am me, plain and simple. I say how I feel when I feel it. I’m fairly incapable of hiding my feelings, though I will try to be happier if I’m feeling down. I live in the moment as the moment plays out. I ask for help when I need it. I give help whenever I can. I don’t judge people by their past or my past.

I am honest with people, I’m not brutal about it, but I am honest. I admit when I see a fault of mine. I try to work on issues in my life. I am open about myself, my past, my hurts, my triumphs, my goals, my hopes, my experiences. I don’t try to hide anything. I face life as it is and try to make the best of it.

I live for the joy. I want to give joy. I want to feel joy. Joy is nowhere inside the twists and turns of the social chaos and drama that most people wander around in.

Maybe what makes me appear to be complicated is that people who are wandering in the social “NESS” can’t figure out my “angle”.

But, that’s the thing, I don’t have an angle. I will share any part of my life with anybody that wants to hear about it. I will joyously be with the people around me, just because they are there with me.

I am not looking to manipulate, coerce, bend, change, or stop anyone from whatever path they are on. I will give advice if asked. I will be a listening board. I will play devil’s advocate in order to help someone else see another side of an issue they’ve asked me about. But I will also say, “I’m just playing this role, I’m not telling you to do this or that, just helping you see other sides”.

It’s not my place to tell anyone what to do. I have had a lot of experiences. I have lived a lot of roles, held a lot of jobs, and gotten a broad spectrum of education. I will happily tell a story about my life if it relates to something I have been asked about in hopes that it will help that person make their decision for their best interest.

I have also been called a “Yes woman”. I love new experiences. I love living in the moment. I love being with people. I am an avid learner. I love hearing people’s stories. I love watching the dynamics of interactions. I say yes to all kinds of new things as well as tried and true things. How else will I know?

I learn so much from my many experiences. Even the ones that don’t turn out the way I think they will, or others think they will. Every experience is a way to learn and grow. Every one.

I was in a short term amorous friendship not long before my change in relationship with Sven. I’m not sure I would have been able to recognize just how right Sven is for me if I hadn’t known this other wonderful man. Does it make me bad that I didn’t choose to stay with this other guy? No. Does it make him not good enough? NO. Just not right for each other. I’ve been in a small number of long term relationships that ended. And I have learned amazing amounts about me, about what I want and don’t want, about my interpersonal relationship skills, where I need improvement, where I need to stop accepting less than, and how to speak up for myself.

I have watched many mothers berate themselves for being bad mothers, when really they’re just normal mothers. We forget so easily that we are also just people. Just women. We don’t get super powers bestowed on us at the moment that baby cries for the first time. We are just fuddling through this the best way we can. I actually (sort of) think that no one should have just one child. It’s the next one that you start to realize that you’re doing just fine, in fact you were probably a little too harsh on them and yourself. I apologize every year to my oldest on his birthday, because he’s my guinea pig. I’ve never been the mother of a child his age before, plain and simple. We’re gonna tackle it head on, hope for the best, and apologize when needed.

I’ve made and lost friends over the years. I’ve held on and been held onto too long. I’ve let go and been let go of too quickly. I’ve been hurt and I’ve hurt others through overlooking. But every experience teaches me. I let go of the negative and keep the lesson.

Through all the life, all the childhood, all the parenthood, all the womanhood, all the new and old experiences, through all this, I live each day one by one. I try to connect experience with new opportunities, but I pretty much just jump in with the best of intentions for myself and everyone with me.

I trust everyone until they give me a reason not to. I like everyone until they give me a reason not to. I think everyone is trying their best and I try to help. I am really, simply, just out there in the world to be. I like to be. I like me.

I don’t think I’m complicated. Maybe I am, but maybe not.

 

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Foreign Wanders

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